Cheesecake is a decadent dessert loved by many. Creamy and rich, with a buttery crust, it's the perfect indulgence to satisfy a sweet tooth.
However, it's important to know how long cheesecake lasts in the fridge to ensure that it's safe to eat and still retains its delicious flavor. In this post, we will explore shelf life guidelines and provide tips on how to store this dessert properly.
Cheesecake is wonderfully indulgent. But the thing that makes a piece of fresh cheesecake so amazing - the cream cheese, heavy cream, and sour cream, also makes it a pretty finicky dessert to store.
Dairy products are notorious for spoiling if they are handled incorrectly, and that can lead to all sorts of food-related illnesses. The good news is that following just a few simple food storage rules will keep this dessert tasting fresh and delicious for up to one week.
And if you are curious about how long other items last in your kitchen, we have more resources for you, like How Long Does Whipped Cream Last in the Fridge.
What is Cheesecake?
Cheesecake is a favorite dessert around the world. This chilled treat has a sweet graham cracker or crushed cookie crust.
It gets its name because the primary ingredient is cream cheese. But many recipes also have eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, ricotta, or cottage cheese. This mix of rich dairy products gives the dessert a smooth, luxurious texture.
You can have cheesecake in a variety of ways. Caramel Apple is perfect for fall. And a Huckleberry dessert will allow you to utilize summer’s bounty of fresh fruit.
How Long Does Cheesecake Last
Cheesecake's shelf life is anywhere from 2-7 days. We’ll explore the details in a moment, but let’s start with understanding some food safety principles.
Since this dish is made mostly of dairy products, it can go bad quickly. These ingredients must be kept within a specific temperature range in order to avoid spoiling.
Refrigeration is key to preventing molds, dangerous bacteria, or premature spoilage. When it comes to dairy, all it takes is 2 hours at the wrong temperature to put your family at risk of food poisoning.
Baked cheesecake has a different shelf life than no-bake recipes. And if you are enjoying a storebought dessert it's important to know that the shelf life changes once it is opened.
So let's dig into some more specific storage guidelines for each type of cheesecake.
Baked Shelf Life
This is my top choice. I love a thick, rich homemade cheesecake topped with fresh fruits or fudge sauce.
Baking a cheesecake in the oven gives it the most amazing, dense texture. Often a water bath is used to help it cook evenly. Then it cools in the oven for a bit before transferring it to the refrigerator.
When stored properly in the refrigerator, you can enjoy baked cheesecake for 5 days.
No-Bake Shelf Life
No-bake cheesecake is a popular choice because it's a quick and easy dessert that doesn't require you to turn on the oven. They are pretty simple to make, so this is a great option for beginner cooks.
With a no-bake recipe, you just pour your rich and creamy filling into a premade cookie crust. Then chill it for several hours to set the dessert. This method is more delicate than traditional cheesecake since it's not cooked.
While it is still safe to eat for up to 5 days, the crust may get soggy and the filling may start to separate. So plan on enjoying no-bake cheesecake within 3 days.
Store-Bought Shelf Life
Store-bought cheesecakes are one of the most popular treats in the dessert aisle. They are tasty and convenient!
The preservatives in store-bought cheesecakes mean they have a slightly longer shelf-life than one you would make at home, but not by much.
If it is unopened, it will have a shelf-life of about 7 days.
To make sure you’re buying the freshest item possible, look for the package's expiration date. Just like any other dairy product like milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese, cheesecake is best enjoyed before this date.
Once you open the package the clock starts ticking on freshness, and the shelf-life of store-bought cheesecake is just as sensitive as one that is homemade.
You can safely enjoy an opened cheesecake for 3-4 days, as long as you properly refrigerate it.
Frozen Shelf Life
Cheesecake lovers, we have good news for you! You can freeze that delicious dessert for up to 3 months.
That means you could bake a cheesecake on a lazy day in February and pull the entire thing out of the freezer on a beautiful spring day in April.
Individual slices can be frozen for a long time as well, which is a great way to keep leftovers. Then you can enjoy them at a later date!
For maximum freshness, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Ensure that the entire surface is covered so that no air comes in contact with the cake. Next, wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection. Finally, place it in a sealed container and store it in the freezer.
- Use an Airtight Container: An airtight container is an absolute must when it comes to proper storage. You can purchase cake case containers that will fit a whole cheesecake or one that holds individual slices.
- Wrap Tightly: Storing food improperly in the freezer puts it at risk of freezer burn. For the best quality, wrap the cheesecake tightly in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil, and then place it in an airtight container.
- Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Remembering the 2-hour rule is a good rule of thumb to avoid spoiled cheesecake. This easy-to-recall rule says that you should not leave dairy products at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. And that’s a cumulative 2 hours. So when you take it in and out of the refrigerator the stopwatch doesn’t reset.
- Store in Individual Slices: An individual slice will thaw much faster than a whole cake, which means you can enjoy a sweet treat that much more quickly. Smaller pieces are also easy to store and then take to work or pack in an insulated school lunch bag.
- Pay Attention to Sell-by Dates. When buying any perishable item like a cheesecake dessert, always check the sell-by date. Sometimes products get overlooked, so there could be a package that is just past the date or only has a day or two before it should be enjoyed or tossed.
The top three ways to tell if a cheesecake is spoiled are a foul smell, discoloration on the cake, and mold. If you notice any one of these factors, you need to discard the dessert.
Leftover cheesecake should never be left on the counter. The cake’s abundant dairy ingredients call for refrigeration as soon as you’re done slicing and serving.
Cheesecake is a delectable dessert, but it is also a perishable one. It is important to know how to store cheesecake properly to ensure it is safe to eat and retains its rich and creamy texture.
While baked cheesecake can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and no-bake recipe is best enjoyed within days, and store-bought unopened cake can last for about a week. For longer storage, freezing is the way to go, as it can be frozen for up to three months.
Following the proper food storage rules, such as refrigerating or freezing cheesecake immediately and placing it in an airtight container, will help to extend its shelf life and ensure its safety.
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